Galapagos islands

Amazing Race winners share travel tips

We’re just back from a great adventure on Hurtigruten Expeditions’ inaugural cruise in the Galapagos Islands, where we met iguanas and sea lions galore, and spotted albatross, blue and red-footed boobies, tortoises, and many other fantastic creatures.

Our ship, the upgraded MS Santa Cruz II, was perfectly-sized, with 50 cabins, a library and science corner, and a bar. And we were thrilled to learn that among the guests on our expedition were Will Jardell and James Wallington, the honeymooning winners of Season 32 of The Amazing Race reality TV show in which teams of two race around the world in hopes of winning the $1 million first prize.

We joined them for dinner one evening to chat about airports, of course, and to ask them to share some of their travel tips. You’ll find the full list in the story we put together for the Points Guy site. But here are some of their travel gear must-haves and some useful tips for gathering information about your destinations.

Fanny Packs

Trendy for now, Jardell and Wallington say they use Eagle Creek fanny packs to hold travel essentials such as passports, wallets, money, travel guides and documents, hand sanitizer, snacks, Chapstick, hand lotion, and extra masks.

Playing cards and games

Books and magazines are always good to have, but Jardell and Wallington always pack a deck of cards or a game they can play together or with people they meet along the way.

Smart ways to gather information

During the Amazing Race contest, Will and James couldn’t take along laptops or phones for researching a destination or plotting out routes before arriving in a city.

They said they could sometimes work around this by visiting electronics shops in airports selling phones and other gear that was on display with WiFi connections.

This is a great tip for those times we might find ourselves in an airport without a charged phone or good network access.

Flight attendants often have lots of helpful information about destinations, they told us, as do some of the short videos most of us skip over in the inflight entertainment line-up.

Eco-Friendly Tips

Meet the winning couple and pick up some eco-friendly and sustainable travel tips in this short video.

Iguanas: Airport Amenity in the Galapagos

We’re visiting a handful of islands in the Galapagos this week (vaccinated, tested, and masked everywhere) as part of Hurtigruten Expeditions’ inaugural Galapagos cruise, with Metropolitan Touring.

And, yes, we are feeling incredibly fortunate to be able to tag along on a trip that is on so many bucket list adventure lists.

We are just two days into the trip, but already we’ve seen many of the iconic species on the “Big 15” list, including tortoises, iguanas, finches, sea lions, and more.

Once we find a better WiFI connection, we’ll share some better images. But, first things first, let’s talk about the airports.

Our flights to the Galapagos island started from Ecuador’s award-winning Quito International Airport (UIO). We couldn’t access the shops reserved for international travelers. But we found these charming colored pencils for sale in the domestic departures area.

On arrival at Seymour Ecological Galapagos Airport (GPS), on the island of Baltra, we were greeted by this handsome fellow.

“Don’t get too excited just yet” one of the guides said. “You’ll see many more – and much better – iguanas very soon.”

He was right.